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Feds: NJ terror defendants’ claims ‘fanciful’

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The U.S. attorney’s office is responding to claims it acted improperly during the sentencing of two northern New Jersey men on terrorism-related charges.

The sentencing of Mohamed Alessa and Carlos Almonte occurred on the day of the Boston Marathon bombings. They were sentenced to 22 and 20 years respectively.

Their attorneys want the sentences reconsidered. They claim prosecutors learned of the bombings during the sentencing hearing and altered their argument to the judge without giving the defendants a chance to ask for a postponement.

In a court filing Thursday, the government called the claims “fanciful” and argued that transcripts show prosecutors had shifted the focus of their presentation before they received a note about the bombings.

The judge in the case already has said the bombings didn’t affect his objectivity.